This is as it should be: Aaron Martens is fishing bridge pilings. If a lake has a bridge crossing it, you're likely to find Martens fishing the pilings at some point in the day. He's a master at catching fish suspended around the bridge supports, and at least one of his runner-up Bassmaster Classic finishes was achieved along bridge pilings. At this railroad bridge on Lake Shelbyville, the water is about 17 feet deep, and the channel is constricted. If there's any current in the lake — caused by wind or river flow — it should be strongest here. Martens pitches a jig to the concrete pilings and feels it as it drops toward bottom.
The tactic didn't work, so Martens pulled up and moved upriver. He's now fishing riprap near an access area. He's taking care to stay the legal distance from the boat ramp, which, for some reason the pros don't understand, the Army Corps of Engineers has placed off limits.
"They've just eliminated one of my best spots," Skeet Reese told me last night at the tournament briefing/media dinner in Decatur. Other pros said they've never heard of that sort of structure being made off-limits, and in Shelbyville, they agreed, it's prime fishing territory.